“Vad bra svenska du talar, verkligen!”
Translation: “You speak really good Swedish, really!”
Ever since coming here to Linköping to continue my studies, I seem to get this quite a lot. Once I tell them about my background of course.
After I tell people about moving to Sweden as a 7-year-old from the Philippines and being in medical school for four years in the UK, somehow, people seem to only focus on that. I chose to study in the UK, because I have studied in English ever since moving to Sweden – international schools from elementary to university. However, I did grow up in Sweden in the end. Somehow, the fact that I’ve been raised in Sweden is overshadowed by my immigrant background and international education.
In the mornings, it is hard to miss the people with white sailor graduation hats dressed in white. In the afternoons, the smell of beer on the subway is unavoidable. This could only mean one thing: STUDENTEN. I couldn't help reminisce – here's a throwback of mine four years ago! 😊 #tbt #throwback #throwbackthursday #studenten
Should I take this as a compliment? That I learnt how to speak good Swedish after living in Sweden for over 10 years? And didn’t forget it whilst abroad?
Or should I feel offended that because I look and am from a different country, I was expected to speak Swedish badly?
Nevertheless, I must understand, I’m a minority. Not everyone have met us modern Swedes with international backgrounds. In that case, I can be an ambassador to show that assimilation into Swedish culture from another background is possible. Maybe next time they meet someone like me, they won’t be as surprised.